The process of managing information related to the marketing and distribution of products through various channels is called Product Information management(PIM). A PIM solution is a centralized storage of this information that lets you collect and enrich data, thus reducing the problematic process of maintaining data manually.
The challenges in managing product data aren’t new to organizations. According to a study on PIM challenges in B2B e-commerce, B2Bs have three major pain points and they are,
1. Challenges with Information Systems
Challenges with the use and integration of various systems, data transfers, differing data formats, limitations of existing system features, and ongoing updates.
Working with spreadsheets before using PIM
2. Organizational Challenges
Problematic processes, Shortage of standards, Varying habits of people working for the organization.
3. Product Information Management Challenges
Handling a huge amount of information, issues in defining the overall information quality, providing quality features, adhering to custom requirements of the customer on product information.
We have listed some best practices in PIM to overcome these challenges and make your business process streamlined.
1. Define goals and processes before choosing a Product Information Management (PIM) solution
There is no one formula that works for every business. It is a good practice that the decision-makers define the workflow that works best for their business and then go from there to choose the best PIM that suits their style of work.
2. Set Standards for Product Information
Work with your suppliers and team members to determine the right product, price range, and other factors. Document those standards and make them visible to everyone. This is a good practice that saves time and money for your business.
3. Have Thorough Product Information
Buyers buy online only when they find every detail they need to know. We cannot stress enough how good a practice it is to have thorough information for all your products. Content aggregators/providers are a great option for obtaining detailed product information. To read how content aggregators are beneficial for B2B, read 8 reasons why B2B businesses need content aggregators.
4. Create Efficient Processes
If processes are definite, projects will have a smooth workflow. Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor, or any other B2B you need to ask yourself some questions.
- What is the output I want from my product?
- What tasks should I perform to get the desired output?
- And most importantly talk with the concerned teams to understand what is the structure for the inputs required to carry out the specific task.
Creating an efficient process to manage your product information is a good practice to streamline complex processes and errors.
5. Structure your product catalog
Ensure accessibility, visibility, and easy navigation of product information by structuring your online product catalog. This is why categorizing, attributing, and grouping your product details in your catalog is a good practice in PIM.
Working with a PIM system
6. Enrich product information with digital assets
If a buyer finds the same product on your website and on that of your competitors’, the only differentiator that leads him further in his buying decision is the richness of the product description. If your product information is enriched with images, detailed descriptions, variant information, and so on, you are more likely to drive sales.
7. A/B testing for your products
A/B testing is putting one product experience against another and assessing which one performs better. This helps in understanding which variant of the product is getting more traction, thus helping you strategize and align your product content/information process towards a common goal.
8. Optimize Product Content
Search engines love SEO optimized content. Hands down, this is one of the best practices in PIM. That adds to your brand visibility and credibility which is a plus!
9. Consistent Upgradation of Product data
Consistency never goes out of style. Monitor your product information in different channels and improve them from time to time. Add new content as and when there are product upgrades. Having a PIM solution is another way of having problem-free product information updates.
10. Get a PIM solution
A PIM solution can work magic for your business by eliminating spreadsheets, thus eliminating manual errors and reducing manual effort for your employees. A PIM solution like flexiPIM is a single source of product information and management for all your product needs. Here’s how flexiPIM solves your product information challenges.
- Creating categories, attributes, groups, and products will aid in structuring your catalog and making content syndication across channels like e-commerce, marketplaces, other systems/portals, and ERP user friendly.
- Importing/exporting existing data from/to spreadsheets, or any other back end system becomes easy and straightforward.
- Channelize SEO friendly content into multiple touchpoints from a single user interface.
- Synchronized processes within flexiPIM make Product Information architecture simpler and easier to understand for you and your employees.
- Manage multiple stores/channels from a single location.
- Easy filter and search options make navigation within flexiPIM simpler.
- Organize and maintain digital assets such as images, videos, and documents that can be shared with people and to multiple channels.
- Bulk update and the creation of condition-based rules help to automate product updates.
- Quick edits, automated syncs, event scheduler (automated rules) make the PIM process automated.
What other challenges are you facing as a B2B when it comes to Product Information Management? Let us know in the comments as we are not stopping until we’ve made Product Information Management the easiest job for B2B e-commerce.